Bicester AC enjoyed a very successful return to league cross country competition after a break last year.  16 athletes contested the first round of the Chiltern League held last Saturday at Horspath.

Finley Colverson-Martin has enjoyed a good season on the track and has since shown excellent form on the road.  However, his previous best cross country league performance was 22nd in the Oxfordshire League.  He improved significantly on that run on Saturday as he produced a superb effort in the under 17 men’s race to finish runner up just 5secs off first place and comfortably clear of the 3rd placed runner.  The winner has a very good cross-country pedigree having finished 16th in a previous national schools cross country championships.  Colverson-Martin was the leading division 2 runner which was run as part of the main race clocking 19mins 16secs for the 5.8km course.

Jenny Critchley, in her first competitive cross country as an under 17 athlete, achieved her first ever top ten Chiltern League placing with a superb 9th in the women’s under 17 race contested over 5km.  Critchley placed 3rd in the division 2 standings clocking 21mins 37secs.

There was a good effort from the under 15 boys team as they finished 3rd team in the division 2 event.  Noah Culvin made his cross country and finished a commendable 21st in the main race which included division 1 runners.  Culvin clocked 14mins 50secs for the 4km distance placing 7th in the division 2 race.  Culvin was well supported by Owen Stocker who was 34th (15mins 32secs) and Thomas Styles, also making his cross-country debut, placing 36th in 15mins 36secs.

The under 13 girl’s team also finished 3rd in the division 2 team race with some solid performances from the Bicester AC contingent.  Abigail Jones led the team home in 34th position clocking 13mins 54secs for the 3km course.  Tabitha Bosley did well to make the top half on her maiden cross-country bow placing 37th (14mins 04secs). And Amber Busby finished close to Bosley in 40th  place (14mins 11secs).

Erigean Appiahkorang-Mensah ran his first competitive race having only recently joined Bicester AC.  He produced a run of promise to finish in the top half of finishers in the under 13 boy’s race.  Appiahkorang-Mensh placed 28th clocking 12mins 39secs for the 3km distance and was 7th finisher amongst the division 2 competitors. 

Bicester had a team in the under 11 boy’s race run over 2km with the team placing 5th.  Thomas Andrade was making his Bicester AC competitive debut and did well to make the top half of finishers with 12th place clocking 7mins 44secs.  Cyrus Ariana was next in placing 19th (9mins 27secs) with Finlay Haynes closing the team finishers in 21st (8mins 29secs).

Bicester had three competitors in the senior races.  Paul Jones was making his club debut in the senior men’s race run over 8.9km.  Jones did well to place 278th (42mins 51secs) with Arran Critchley, Bicester’s other finisher 342nd (51mins 54secs).  Emily Benfield was Bicester’s sole finisher in the senior lady’s race finishing 181st in clocking 37mins 20secs for the 5.8km distance.   

Written by N Dolden